I know quite a few of you are aware of this already from another thread, but I just wanted to post Jem's story here as well. Eight years ago this month, I went to a shelter wanting to adopt a kitten (as so many do) and found myself drawn to two adult kitties. They’d been there for several months with little interest and were to be adopted as a pair (which is difficult enough for kittens, but nearly impossible for adults). I went into meet them, and the orange & white kitty (then named Lollygag) immediately jumped on my lap and started giving me nose kisses and purring. The shelter worker said he was usually scared and cowering in the corner, so that was very unusual for him. I guess he found “his person” in me for whatever reason. His brother Scout was equally affectionate and immediately won me over. They have both brought immeasurable joy to my life. Jem has definitely been the most skittish kitty I’ve ever had, often retreating to my bedroom when the doorbell rings, there’s a knock at the door, or someone tears a piece of foil from the box, when there's a thunderstorm, and countless other seemingly harmless events. He has never been too friendly around guests (again, often retreating to my room to hide) as he was always terrified of outsiders. But with me, he has always been the sweetest, most loyal, goofiest, and loving boy. He was always patiently waiting by the door when I walk in, greeting me with his “prrrrts” and “ennnyyows”. He would follow me around the house, keep me company while I worked or watched TV, announce every evening when it was time to go to bed (promptly at 10:30), and gently wake me up each morning with paw pats and kisses. He’s most certainly never been a lap kitty or one to be held, but he loved nuzzling up next to me each night, "making biscuits" and drooling all over the blanket. And the best part of my day was lying next to him and falling asleep listening to him purr softly. Sadly, he was diagnosed with oral squamous cell cancer about 6 weeks ago after undergoing a terrifying series of visits to the vet, numerous diagnostic tests, overnight stays, and surgery. He was such a strong, brave boy throughout his ordeal and constantly amazed me with his resilience, exuberance, and fighting spirit. Even after all of what he’d been through, he was still my sweet, silly, playful boy until about a week ago. He gradually lost the interest to play, began sleeping more, and wouldn’t eat out of his dish anymore, so I had to feed him with my fingers. He eventually stopped eating all together over the weekend. I knew it was time to say goodbye to him and I did not want to see him suffer, but I agonized over the decision all weekend long. He passed away very peacefully in my arms this morning. I miss him more than words can possibly express, and am so grateful to have his brother Scout here with me so we can console each other. I know he will forever hold a very special place in my heart and always be my little “Peanut.” Rest in peace my precious, sweet boy.